May 13th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
2 years ago

Conservative leader: Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will hurt him in states he captured in 2008, the president of American Values, Gary Bauer, predicted Sunday.

“I think the president this past week took six or seven states he carried in 2008 and put them in play with this ill-conceived position,” Bauer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage on Wednesday after previously saying his opinions on the issue were “evolving.”

However, the conservative leader said Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, should not focus solely on social issues and should instead “explain to the American people why he would be a great president.”

“I think you do that by giving your views on a whole range of issues,” Bauer said. “If he does that he’ll be very successful.”

Bauer appeared on CNN alongside Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who said social issues should not be a “central point” of Romney’s campaign, but said defending the family “should be a priority.”

“I just think he needs to continue talking about all of the issues that are important to evangelical voters, and I think yesterday was a good start,” Perkins said of Romney's commencement address at the Christian Liberty University on Saturday. “He didn’t dance around the issues; he talked about the common values that he shares with the evangelical community.”

The influential social conservative criticized Romney earlier in the presidential cycle for not speaking out strongly enough on social issues and more recently said he should learn from the campaign message of Rick Santorum, who repeatedly invoked such issues during his failed bid White House bid.

On Sunday, Perkins said Obama's statement helped boost Romney's standing with evangelicals, who overwhelmingly support him over the incumbent president, according to recent polling.

“I think the president is what helped Romney this week the most this week with his announcement,” Perkins told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Yet Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois disagreed, telling CNN the president will not "lose votes that he otherwise hadn't lost" following the marriage declaration.

"I'm not sure the evangelicals were going to lean toward President Obama anyway," Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, said.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a swing state that banned same-sex marriage in 2006, predicted the announcement would have little impact in his state, which supported Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

"I think what the president's personal opinion is and how he's wrestled with this is just another example of who he is and the strength of his character," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think that's going to affect - have much effect in Colorado."

Turing to vice presidential politics, Perkins and Bauer also offered their suggestions for who should be the former Massachusetts governor's running mate in 2012.

Perkins' pick: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Bauer's pick: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Also see:Also see

Romney talks faith, pranks in Christian television interview

Romney builds inter-faith bridge in Liberty U commencement address

Santorum to Romney: 'Step up' and use 'potent weapon' of same sex marriage

Poll: Majority approves of Obama's marriage decision

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. judy

    Obama has followed through with the ideas set out in the 14th amendment. This is a government issue. Churches can do what they will. Thats the whole point of the seperation. The president did what is right and the repos will ride it for all it is worth. It may hurt him but he is on the right side of history and out. time will show that. He shows a courage ol mitt can only think about. Obama 2012

    May 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. marty

    President Obama's decisions are made for the benefit of ALL Americans, not a specific religion, cult or group. That's the job of a President, and Mr. Obama does quite well, considering all the naysayers and haters he must work with.

    May 13, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Al

    Who would of guessed it...A muslim who is pro gay rights!!!!! ;)

    Obama12'

    May 13, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. DrBob

    Just more Chritian bigots. They are comning out of the woodwork now.

    May 13, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    Those states were likely already in play. The strategy is to win the election not to repeat what occurred in 2008 because that is not going to happen.

    May 13, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. gary

    Equality is a CORE American value and promise. Must we sacrifice our freedoms, equality and liberty to make a small but noisy fearful group feel good about themselves? NO. We need to stand up against this Anit-American group before we find ourselves living in one of those countries where the government decides everything for its citizens.

    May 13, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Mike from Orlando, Florida

    These guys just won't quit. Fortunately they'll all look like a bunch of backwards bozos in about 10 years. The tide has turned, deal with it.

    May 13, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Two and the door for House Republicans!!!

    They really don't get it, this was done now so that, by the next few months this will be the last thing folks will be talking about. I mean yeah the President was upset with JB because I am sure they were going to let the Stupid Republican pull the card first so that, then the President would come in and say what he has said now. But, that was yanked from him because of JB love of talking. Although, I like the dude(JB) he needs to stay focus and be a VP who is suppose to pounce on the Republicans!!

    May 13, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Darryl

    It amazes me that these guys can sit up there and play GOD. They believe this country will be dominated by their religious beliefs and nothing or nobody has any right to believe differently.If that isn't control I don't know what is.Religion is WAR,killing innocent women,men,children,families.Thats what religion is and people like these guys are eveil and that what they promote,IN THE NAME OF GOD,what a joke.What a SIN.I'm so glad all this has come to the surface.Now people are going to question religion and reasearch it and find that man created the bible not god and wrote it to control people not god.It is all False and people are going to find that out.

    May 13, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Cobra

    I think it will hurt some democrats in senate and congressional races, but the President should still win.

    May 13, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Jim

    Obama's announcement doesn't come at any cost at all. The far right wasn't going to vote for him regardless of what he says or does.

    May 13, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. LARRY TAYLOR

    To everyone who has posted that marriage should be between a man and a woman I have news for you-IT STILL IS! Nothing has changed by the president announement except that ALL Americans should have the same rights and freedome we are suppose to stand for. When you try to force your will on others or deniy them the same rights you enjoy you are no better than a dictator and cleary no American! So long as the LGBT community does not interfere with my rights I will refuse to interfere with theirs!

    May 13, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. rla

    Way to go JOE!!!!!!

    May 13, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Rick in AZ

    I simply do not understant the hysteria over same-sex marriage. Why does it bother you so? Will the two women who live up the street or the two men who live down the road pose such a threat to your marriage that you cannot abide it. Is your marrige so fragile that you feel it might end. My God, such insecurities. The right-wing is so frightened of everything. It is beyond sad and pathetic. For the record-I'm straight but not narrow.

    May 13, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. rla

    It will hurt because he is not telling the truth about his intentions if he wins election,, Putin & missle defense, Obama care–Pass it to see whats in it, same sex marriage (opps JOE), promises to illegals???? Please don'rt be fooled into voting for this pol again!!!

    May 13, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. gg

    when the constitution don,t fit–they grab the bible and go screaming down the street–better hope these people don,t get total power the constitution would be toilet paper and they would pick and choose your freedom for you

    May 13, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. glorydays

    It will help him. It shows he has principles.

    May 13, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Keith

    I am a happily partnered gay man for 8 years now. While I am glad that the President is for equal rights for all, it was definitely a ploy for votes, which may or may not hurt him in November. I think both him and Romney (I shutter to think of him as the next POTUS anyway) need to start focusing on issues such as the economy. Let's move on already.

    May 13, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Bob (Illinois)

    Perkins and Bauer: What an enlightened pair they make!

    May 13, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. morris

    If President Obama's announcement supporting equal rights for all Citizens costs him the election, then it is a dark, sad day for the United States of American. No longer would we be the land of equality, but we would be the land of sanctioned discrimination by small minds and small hearts, fear and hate-mongering masked in false religious garments.

    May 13, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. yogi

    Liberty and justice for ALL. Which part of ALL do the Republicans not understand? Where are the true Christian values of compassion?
    Obama 2012!

    May 13, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. AgrippaMT

    Both Perkins and Bauer are eager to burnish their credentials as hard-core bigots and homophobes. Keep it up, boys, you're helping ensure President Obama's reelection.

    May 13, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Just HOW is this going to cost the president? The people that were not going to support nor vote for Obama STILL aren't going to. The only ones that mainly have an issue with this are Republicans and religious conservatives and I am SURE on Nov 6th they had planned to go into the booth and pull the lever for Obama. The GOP HOPES this will cost him but if anything some of the LGBT groups that may have been angry at him before and not voted at all may now come out and cast that vote, all except groups like the Log Cabin Republicans or GOPride that are still in denial thinking that the GOP supports them.

    May 13, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. captdcb

    What`s next, a ban on mixed race marriages?

    May 13, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Milton K. Wiah

    Mitt Romney Says he is against a marriage between the same gender but it is right for them to adopt children.
    He knows that same gender couple can not have children, that makes him voice support for the same cause
    President Obama is suggesting. In practice children learn from their parents. The chance that the children
    adopted by gay parents as proposed by flip flopper Mitt, 90% can become gays, making Romney creating more gays
    than Obama.

    May 13, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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